The Media in Action consortium met in Cardiff’s Principality Stadium at the end of January for our project kick off meeting. There was an air of excitement and a keenness to hit the ground running in this one year pilot project co-funded by DG Connect. Work has already started identifying existing good practices and competency frameworks key to making the project a success. We hope that our good vibes have a positive effect on the teams due to play in the Six Nations Rugby tournament over the coming weeks, although being a European project we couldn’t quite decide who to support when Wales isn’t playing!
Media in Action is a project in educator training in media literacy and storytelling. The project will work directly with educators such as youth and community group leaders, teachers, trainee teachers, teaching assistants, librarians and others involved with education for children aged 6-18.
Media literacy is an essential skill for any generation to master. Becoming media literate means young people build communication skills, and also become equipped with the tools to interpret, to understand, to critically question and to interact with media. The ability to create your own media is empowering and outlets such as a blog or a podcast give a platform for young people to tell their personal story so as to build a place in culture and society. In this particular aspect, we intend to take advantage of digital storytelling inspired in journalistic techniques, as educational tools.
We want educators to be able to work with their school and community groups to use multi media such as blogs, videos, podcasts and social media to tell their own stories. We are also well aware that educators face a lot of pressure, as such we would like to work with and alongside them to produce a needed, useful and meaningful resource rather than a bolt on ‘one more thing educators are responsible for’.
MIA will provide training and support materials and workshops aimed at increasing the critical thinking towards the media among citizens. The training and resources will be split into two main areas, theoretical and practical. The emphasis of the project is on participation and learning by creating. In the process of creating media we can teach people how media works.
We also want to provide educators with the underpinning tools of understanding and knowledge about what media literacy is, the historical context, and the tools to critically evaluate media.
Educator workshops are expected to run in the second half of 2018 and the open access resources will be freely and publicly available from the website.
The Media in Action consortium is a group of professionals, academics, researchers, journalists and education specialists from across Europe. We have academic specialism in journalism and participatory media from COFAC in Portugal, experts in training and working with disadvantaged social groups from Cooperativa Nuova Dimensione in Italy, a network of journalists and educators Grupo Comunicar Andalusia and education policy specialists KICMalta . The project is coordinated by Pontydysgu, an education research and training company based in Wales UK.
You can join our network, keep up to date with our progress and request more information at this address http://mediainaction.eu/join-our-network/
This article also appears in the February edition of the Media and Learning Newsletter